Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Chair

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Chair
Standing Committee on Public Safety and
National Security
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Mr. Kevin Sorenson
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
● (0845)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de
Fuca, NDP)): Good morning. This is meeting number 91 of the
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. It is
Tuesday, June 18, 2013.
We'll begin this morning, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), with
our study of the economics of policing, and then at the end of the
second hour we'll take 10 minutes for committee business.
I'd like to welcome those who are substituting on the committee.
Of course, once again we'll wish Kevin well, and we look forward to
seeing him back in the chair after today.
This morning we have a first panel of witnesses, which will
consist of Chief Matthew Torigian from the Waterloo Regional
Police Service, and by video conference from Halifax, Professor
Christopher Murphy from the Department of Sociology and Social
Anthropology at Dalhousie University. My thanks to both witnesses
for being here this morning.
I'll just check with Mr. Murphy as to whether he can hear and see
us. It looks good from this end.
Dr. Christopher Murphy (Professor, Department of Sociology
and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University, As an Individual): Yes, everything's fine here.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Okay, great.
We'll begin with opening statements from the witnesses and then
we'll go to rounds of questions. Because of my lack of trust in
technology, we'll go first to Professor Murphy at Dalhousie before
we lose him. We'll ask you to make a ten-minute presentation.
Dr. Christopher Murphy: Thank you very much.
Good morning, and thank you all for this opportunity to present to
you some of my ideas based on my experience of looking at
Canadian policing and policing in general for over 25 years. I've
been a student of Canadian policing as an academic, but I also spent
eight years in the old solicitor general department as a policing
policy researcher when in fact the ministry had a capacity and an
interest in national policing and police research. I'll come back to
that later.
First let me say that Canada has a well-earned reputation and the
Canadian police have earned a reputation as having a stable, publicly
supported, and modern professional police force, one that I think has
an excellent record when compared to our comparator nations—
Australia, England, the United States, etc.—relatively free of
corruption and the excessive violence that has characterized at least
some aspects of policing in those countries.
Canadians have invested heavily in good government, and as a
result have invested in good policing. We also invest in health care,
education, etc. We've been willing to pay taxes and invest in public
policing in order to have a high degree of public safety and personal
security. Indeed, Canadians may invest more in their public police
than almost any comparable country in the world, as measured by
per capita spending, and we probably have the best-paid public
police in the world. We have developed a good and professional, but
very expensive, model of public policing, one that has grown
significantly, as you're all aware, in police numbers and policing
costs over the last 10 to 20 years.
However, the capacity and willingness of the public to continue to
pay for more policing without at least more evidence of the value
and efficiency of that model is at a tipping point in Canada. It
certainly is in other countries, such as England and the United States.
Municipal governments find it increasingly difficult to sustain their
current policing costs, let alone meet rising policing costs.
In short, it's my belief, and that of many municipal police leaders
and municipal government people responsible for policing, that the
current model of public policing, as is, without change, is simply not
financially sustainable, and that without significant change to the
current model there will be an inevitable decline in both the number
of police officers and the quality and range of police services that
will result.
There are some possible, and not very attractive, policing
scenarios that are out there already, and I'll just run through them
quickly. One is to simply continue the growth scenario we've had for
the last 10 years. You've seen the data—increases of about 5% a
year. These are not sustainable without increases in municipal or
provincial taxes, or simply cannibalizing other municipal services to
pay for this increase.
In 2011 we see this increase suddenly stop, and we're moving to
what I would call a static growth model. That is, we try to maintain
the current number of police officers and the service levels with
more moderate increases in annual funding. It's about 3% now,
which means, to some extent, no increases in the number of police
officers, but because of salaries and benefit increases, it remains
about 3% on an annual basis. That means we'll have flat growth
despite increases in population, so the police per population ratio
will decrease. This is actually very similar...and we may be in a
period like the 1990s, when between the years 1990 and 2000,
Canada saw an actual decrease in the total number of police officers
—not much, but there was virtually no growth—and a significant
decline in the per capita ratios.
I did a study at that time to see what police were doing and how
they were managing this period of fiscal restraint. Basically, they cut
services that were considered not essential, non-crisis, and they had
to reprioritize their limited resources to meet the demand they had. It
wasn't necessarily a period of innovation or change, simply a
reduction in the quantity and to some extent the focus of police
We have a negative growth option, which is simply to cut the
number of police officers and cut the budgets, and that will of course
lead to a decline in the level of police service and public safety. It's
not a desirable one, but it's one we see in the U.S., where simply to
meet financial crises in municipal budgets, they've cut the number of
police officers. I don't think we're there yet, but a number of
municipalities may be facing that kind of scenario in the near future,
and that worries me.
● (0850)
Finally, the good news is that I think there is a change in the
development model that is currently being explored in a variety of
places. It's an attempt to manage the growth in police spending, but
somehow without diminishing the quality and quantity of policing
services, and to some extent even improving and expanding those
services, primarily through significant forms of change, reform, and
You have no doubt had some witnesses from the English
experience and have heard about the changes there, as well as
witnesses from the United States and some municipalities. It's an
attempt to change the current model of public policing in ways that
make it perhaps more cost efficient and in some ways more cost
effective. This can mean a rethinking of the fundamental policing
model and the police role and their relationship to the community;
the privatization of some police services, etc.; new organizational
and occupational career models that allow for lateral entry; different
kinds of recruiting and education strategies; new ways to deliver
more cost-efficient services, such as civilianization, tiered policing,
various forms of community service officers—there are experiments
that address that issue—and more effective use of new information
and communication technologies; and finally, a better educated and
more diverse police profession and a commitment to evidence-based
models of strategies in public policing.
We can watch and to some extent learn from the British
experience. It's not entirely positive, and it's mixed, but at least
they are documenting, researching, and evaluating what they're
June 18, 2013
doing, and I think their ideas are having a significant influence on
what Canadian police are at least looking at now.
I believe we're faced with the same situation as the British police
and the American police. It's perhaps less dramatic, but I think it still
is a situation that calls for some degree of change, reflection, and
analysis. What's different about England is that they actually have an
information base, a research capacity, to kind of underlie or at least
stimulate these kinds of examinations and innovations.
This brings me to my last point. If we are going to adapt to the
current challenges facing Canadian policing, and the more complex
and sophisticated policing and crime issues, we don't have the kind
of research and information base that other countries have.
Compared to countries such as Britain and Australia, we invest
very little and do very little either in-house police research—that is,
police doing their own work—or applied academic police research.
We even lack the basic information to assess whether in fact in some
cases we're doing the kind of work that we think we're doing and
being as efficient or as effective as I think the public and the police
would like it to be.
The good news is that I think Canadian police are ready and
interested in research information, knowledge development, and
evidence-based strategies in a way that I haven't seen over the last 25
years, no doubt occasioned by this fiscal restraint or this crisis,
depending on how you look at it. I think they're eager to become
involved in a new kind of evidence-based, research-based enterprise
that they see as going along with reform and change.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has reinvigorated its
research foundation. The Canadian Police College is developing a
series. Even the Canadian Police Association recognizes that
research and evidence-based policing will have to develop more
effectively in Canada.
The second piece of good news is that we do have the research
capacity in this country to do that kind of work. There are growing
centres of police research and an increasing number of academics
who do applied police research of interest both to academics and to
police. We have the interest and the capacity to develop this
infrastructure. What we lack is an infrastructure that funds,
coordinates, and facilitates research, knowledge, information, and
innovation in this country.
In a sense, because of this, we are forced to import policies and
practices from other countries, often without assessing whether
they're viable or feasible here. We don't tend to evaluate whether
they are appropriate or effective.
● (0855)
We need national leadership from Public Safety Canada, from the
federal government, to coordinate these centres of regional and
municipal interests and expertise, to facilitate development of a
national research agenda to underline the reforms and changes that
are coming in policing, and to make them as effective and efficient
as possible.
June 18, 2013
I can close on that. I could certainly say more, and I will be
pleased to answer any questions you may have on anything I've said.
Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much,
Professor Murphy.
We'll now turn to Chief Torigian for a 10-minute opening
Chief Matthew Torigian (Chief of Police, Waterloo Regional
Police Service): Thank you very much. Good morning, ladies and
gentlemen, Mr. Chair. Thank you for the invitation to speak with you
By way of beginning my comments—and I look forward to the
discussion that will take place afterwards—I'll try to walk you
through a description of where we see all of this coming together.
Professor Murphy touched on a lot of the points that I think are very
important when we look at where policing is headed in Canada.
This morning I hope to share with you some of our on-the-ground
experiences on some of the work we've done and the initiatives
we've undertaken to determine the best approach to delivering public
safety and security for our community. At the same time, I hope to
connect this to the overall direction of policing in Canada. In
Waterloo we are beginning to develop what we would refer to as an
economic model of policing.
We've talked about the economics of policing, and we've spoken
at length about expenditures and revenues and trying to drive down
costs and doing things more efficiently. We often get too far ahead of
ourselves at times. We don't ask ourselves why. How does this all fit
I would take it back to one of the reasons why I got into policing
in the first place. The purpose of policing is to protect the weak from
the strong. Gangs are strong. So is addiction to a substance. The
strong can prey on the disenfranchised or the marginalized in our
communities. What can we do as a community and in policing to
protect the weak from the strong? We often come in contact with the
weak. Those are the people we serve, who we need to pay attention
So when we're looking at the economics of policing and when we
think about our clients, the people we come in contact with the most
—people living with mental illness, the homeless, the disenfranchised, the marginalized people in our communities, the students—
none of them pay property taxes. That is the base from which we get
our budgets. So it's very important not to silence our clients and not
to look just at the cost of policing.
We can get ahead of ourselves by looking at other models. We can
look at some of the one-off efficiencies, try to grab the low-hanging
fruit, but that won't serve the sustainability of policing in the future.
When we look at this committee, we see the great work that can be
done at the national level in providing leadership for the overall
direction and the sustainability of policing in Canada. If there's one
area that I might disagree with Professor Murphy on, it's public
policing. There's no such thing as public or private policing; it's
policing. There's private security; there isn't public policing.
One of the initiatives we're probably proudest of in Waterloo
would be our domestic violence project. It's a wraparound approach.
We've taken our domestic violence investigators and collocated them
with 14 other community partners outside the traditional police
service building. We have them housed with sexual assault treatment
centres, women's crisis shelters, crown attorneys, counselling
services. We anticipated and realized a 20% increase in calls for
service on domestic incidents alone in the initial stages of this
We also noticed...and the impetus for us to do this was that about
three and a half murders a year were related to domestic violence.
We began this project in January 2006 after extensive research. We
went all over the world and took the best practices from many
different areas: San Diego, Calgary, the U.K., Ottawa. We pulled
them all together and created the family violence project. We are
now averaging less than one homicide per year related to domestic
violence—a significant reduction. We look at it as homicide
● (0900)
To do this, we had to look at data. We had to look at the evidence
in front of us before we could make a decision on what we needed
for our community. Right now, we're starting to see the beginnings of
a national initiative to have more research, more evidence, more data
in front of us. We look at outcome evaluations of some of the
projects and initiatives that were undertaken, and as a result of that,
we're starting to inform our business decisions in policing.
Some of that evidence-based decision-making comes in the form
of weekly or monthly reports that we, as police leaders, receive. We
use these to analyze the work that's being done. Currently in
Waterloo, we're developing an impaired driving dashboard. We're
working with a software company to put technology in the hands of
our front-line officers. When they log on to their mobile workstation,
the map of their zone comes up and through a pick list they can
actually see where all of the hotspots are, where most of the
collisions have occurred because of impaired driving. We can then
deploy properly.
We also have another software program we are putting all of our
data into. It's a queuing model, and as a result of it we now deploy
based on where we're needed, so that we have the right number of
people in the right place at the right time.
All of this is to ensure optimum efficiency, but none of it comes
together unless we have all of the evaluation pieces, the investment
in some of the tools, and an analysis of the work being done. This is
what it takes to determine the value of policing. What we're trying to
do is demonstrate a return on investment for our community. It's the
last piece that I want to touch on now, the community.
At the core of all of this, be it a new model for policing, a new
governance model, different oversight, mileposts, measurements,
community or provincial or national direction—all of this speaks to
creating the lighthouse, a beacon for us to move towards. We want to
look at this ecosystem of work, which is a very comprehensive
business. We take the research, apply it to some of the tools, and
build capacity within our organizations. We develop leaders. We
make sure that we can demonstrate a return on investment. We do
this by assessing what we have. We need strong plans to build the
data sets that inform the decisions we make on investments. This
ongoing process really is an ecosystem. It ensures the sustainability
of this profession, and it ensures that we are addressing public safety
concerns in our community.
I have the good fortune of sitting on a number of committees. One
of these is the Police Executive Research Forum of the Canadian
Association Chiefs of Police. You've heard from Deputy Minister
Dale McFee, and I'm fortunate enough to be sitting on his expert
advisory council in Saskatchewan. In Ontario, we have a Future of
Policing Advisory Committee, and as the immediate past president
of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, I sit on that
committee. I also co-chair the National Police Services Advisory
Committee and the Police Information and Statistics, POLIS,
committee with the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. It's the
last one that's really important. We have to start challenging some of
the stats and ask ourselves if we are capturing these statistics in the
proper way.
We hear a lot of discussion and debate about whether crime is up
or down. What we've endeavoured to do at the POLIS committee is
to index crime. What we know is that the complexity and severity of
crime is increasing in some communities across Canada. It's very
important for us to drill down and see if we need to capture more
statistics on the crimes that are occurring.
● (0905)
I'd be happy to answer some of your questions afterwards. I hope
I've enabled you to have some sort of picture of what we're trying to
develop in Waterloo with respect to the economics of policing.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much
for your statement.
We'll now begin with an opening round of questions of seven
minutes, starting on the government side with Ms. Bergen.
Ms. Candice Bergen (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Thank you very
much, Mr. Chair.
Good morning to the witnesses. Thank you both for being here
this morning.
We've been engaged in this study for several months. We've had a
lot of very good information provided to us on best practices by
different police organizations that are doing fantastic work and by
academics. We have heard from provinces like the Yukon, which has
laid out a common ground plan, and we've heard some really good
Some of the committee travelled to the U.K., some to California
and parts of Canada. I was one who went to the U.K.
June 18, 2013
It was an interesting exercise. The federal government in the U.K.
provides the majority of the funding and provides an overall
direction for the police departments. I think there are 43 different
districts in the U.K. Each of them has been policing as a little
individual unit, so when the federal government said to them that
they had to cut 20% from their budget....
Then there were some political changes, whereby they now have
commissioners who are elected, possibly to help carry the heat and
also to provide ideas. We saw that the federal Home Office has, as
you said, Professor Murphy, a small research department in which
they determine value for money in policing. Also, there seems to be
quite a large involvement of KPMG with various police districts with
respect to efficiencies.
So we have seen a lot of interesting things here at home and
abroad. What I'm looking at, and we are all, I think, starting to notice
and wonder about, is how the federal government in Canada can
bring all of this together and what we can do to provide something
that is within our mandate as the federal government, because
policing is not a federal issue. Add to this that we have
municipalities and cities—Chief Torigian is here representing
Waterloo—and we also have first nations. What we're seeing is that
first nations policing is over the top, in terms of policing cost per
I want to ask you, with all of that—first of all, Professor Murphy
—what realistic role you see the federal government in Canada
playing. I'd like to ask you to keep in mind the fact that, for example,
in the U.K., where it seems that they're pretty effectively cutting 20%
off, they are doing it with almost a very professional business model,
bringing in the professionals—the KPMGs of this world—and
asking, just as any business would, how do we make cuts and still
run a solid business?
With that in mind, Professor Murphy—I'm going to ask you first,
and then go to the chief from Waterloo—what role do you see the
federal government playing in bringing this all together?
I'll leave that with you.
● (0910)
Dr. Christopher Murphy: I think most people in the Canadian
police community recognize that while there are institutions and
provinces and capacities and innovations going on across the
country, there is no central research policy centre that coordinates,
that communicates, that doesn't necessarily dictate but in a sense
simply allows the decentred nature of Canadian policing to flourish
without being parochial and local and failing to learn, while
duplicating each other's efforts.
June 18, 2013
Some kind of national policy research centre that would provide
information, perhaps research support, is needed. I think there is a
victims' centre in Public Safety Canada that took this initiative. I
worked in a unit within the federal government at one stage that had
four or five people whose job it was to facilitate and communicate
research and fund research nationally. That was the research unit of
the Solicitor General. I was responsible in those days for community
policing. We were very successful simply by supporting and
spreading information and knowledge to the Canadian police
community, which the Canadian police community took up.
They also funded, by the way, centres of criminology to fund
police-related research initiatives.
So there is a central leadership role, which doesn't have to dictate
—it's more a networking and communications and best practices
model, which I think could be created—and there are a number of
models out there that could be looked at.
But I'll hand this over to the chief, because I'm sure he has some
significant ideas about this himself.
Chief Matthew Torigian: Thank you. I'm not sure they're
significant, but I certainly do have ideas.
I think one of the areas would be continuing to provide leadership
in the area of perhaps some guiding principles and a framework for
sustaining policing in Canada, not necessarily having to throw
dollars at it, but in fact ensuring that we're all speaking the same
language, that we have the right common visions and values for what
we're looking for with respect to providing policing in all of our
communities, regardless of whether it's a first nations community up
in the territories or a strong urban centre in one of the more
populated areas in Canada.
So it's those guiding principles, that framework, and perhaps a
model, and an economic model, on how this all comes together and
how it all works. I would resist the urge to try to grab some lowhanging fruit or hear what's happening in another area of the world
and look at that as the panacea to finding a solution to whatever may
be the cause.
I was fortunate enough to be part of a study group with Mark
Potters—who's here today as well—from Public Safety Canada,
when 12 or 13 of us went across to the U.K. and took a long, hard
look at all of the reforms that were and are going on over there. We
had an opportunity to speak with a number of people involved in
those reforms.
I would hesitate to look at the U.K. as a solution by cutting 20%,
because I can tell you that they're spending an awful lot of money
where we cut many, many years ago. They're staffed at levels that we
haven't seen in Canada for decades.
There are so many different approaches and models out there. I
think from a national level, it's providing that leadership in the form
of a beacon, of guiding principles for what we expect policing to
deliver in every community for every Canadian, and ensuring that
there is a framework of some sort in place. If that framework were an
economic model, I think it would help lead us as police leaders.
I hear what Professor Murphy is saying about research. I think it's
critically important. I'm not sure it needs to be in a central location.
There are many advantages to having this free market of research out
there that can be generated from a number of different areas, with
perhaps different and maybe even competing interests but allowing
police leaders the capacity to look at that research and make some
informed decisions.
● (0915)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much.
Unfortunately, there is no more time for this round.
Ms. Michaud, you have the floor.
Ms. Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, NDP):
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I thank our two witnesses for appearing before us today.
My first question is for Mr. Murphy.
During your presentation, you suggested it was time for Canada to
start rethinking its current policing model. This has been mentioned
during the committee's travels. We had the opportunity to go and see
what is being done in Great Britain and in the United States.
Moreover, we were able to see what is happening here in Calgary
and in Prince Albert, among other places. We were able to see the
HUB and COR models in action, which you must be familiar with.
Are these the kinds of models you are thinking of when you talk
about controlling costs better and using resources more efficiently
while providing effective services to the population?
Dr. Christopher Murphy: Absolutely, but I think the notion is
that we have limited police resources under the current model, and
that there may be ways to use them more effectively and efficiently
by rethinking some of the assumptions that underlie that model, such
as the notion that we need uniformed and empowered police officers
to deliver the full range of police services out there, when in fact
there are many aspects to what police do: either some variation of a
fully sworn, fully empowered police officer could do it, as in the
community service office model in the U.K., or increased
civilianization—in some cases, some limited cases, perhaps even
That's one model, then: a new way of rethinking the various police
functions instead of a generalist model. Some more specialized
views of policing and the skill requirements would allow police to
recruit more broadly, etc.
I don't think there's any one answer to the question. I'm not sure
the English model is central or even relevant, but what I don't think
we have is.... We have various places trying different things, and we
have no sense of coordination or national purpose.
I wasn't actually suggesting that we create a centre that then does
all the research and assessment of these innovations and new ideas,
but that we develop some connected capacity in Canada with some
kind of leadership role. Then we can look at these innovations and
say, yes, these are really effective, they do work, and maybe it should
be part of some national agenda, as opposed to an individual police
department or a local jurisdiction.
I'm not sure if that answers your question.
● (0920)
Ms. Élaine Michaud: Yes, thank you very much.
Chief Torigian, you touched on the same issue during your
presentation. Would you like to add something to what Mr. Murphy
has said?
Chief Matthew Torigian: I'm sorry, the translation wasn't
working, but I caught some of what you were asking.
Ms. Élaine Michaud: I was asking if you wanted to comment or
add anything to what Mr. Murphy said, because you did talk about
that a bit in your own presentation.
Chief Matthew Torigian: I would agree with Professor Murphy. I
understand and agree with his vision of where and how that research
could get developed and the connection that needs to occur right
across Canada to ensure that all police leaders have access to it.
One of the areas that I think is very important when we're talking
about the sustainability of policing, and looking at different models
or methods by which we deliver our services, what is going to be key
to all of this is the new recruit: the training, the education, and the
recruitment of the new generation of police officers.
Again, Public Safety Canada has looked at this as a fallout from
the summit in January, and it is looking at new ways to train this new
cohort, this new generation of police officers who someday will be
the leaders of the future. We have to ask ourselves, are we recruiting
the right people, and are we doing it the right way? And how are we
training and what are the qualifications?
I sit on the Ontario Police College General Investigation Training
Advisory Committee, and we are looking at the training period. Is it
time for there to be a professional designation for policing? If that's
the case, what do we need to get there? Is it a degree? Is it a
diploma? Right now the minimum requirement is still grade 12 and
you go down to the police college for 12 weeks after you get hired
by a police service. I'm not sure that's the right model for what our
expectations are for police officers today.
In fact, it's not reality either. We're hiring those with any type of
post-secondary education, and very often we're hiring new recruits
with master's degrees. The complexity of this job has grown.
Thankfully, it didn't work when I was going through that you had to
be six foot four and come off a farm and be able to fight your way
out of a bar. That's not today's recruit; it's not what is necessary for
today's police officer.
June 18, 2013
Ms. Élaine Michaud: You told us about a project that is more
focused on the problem of domestic violence.
Do you have any projects or programs that are more focused on
youth at risk of becoming involved with gangs or criminal activities?
Chief Matthew Torigian: Yes, we have partnered with our local
crime prevention council. It's a crime prevention council that is
extremely successful; it is really a table that has been set with a
number of community stakeholders and representatives from a crosssection of disciplines right throughout our entire community.
As a result of the work they've done, and in partnering with us,
what they're trying to do is generate programming where they can
get out in front of, and identify, at-risk youth. Perhaps somebody
who has a sibling who's been involved in a gang...get to them and
create opportunities to direct them in a different direction. It's called
inREACH, and it's an anti-gang program that's going on in Waterloo
right now.
But to speak to Professor Murphy's earlier point, the evaluation of
these programs is difficult. Even with this particular program,
inREACH, there are differing views as to whether it's successful.
What we really need is some very sound academically based
research or outcomes evaluation that would inform us as to whether
or not these in fact work.
What we're doing in Waterloo as well is we've partnered with a
number of other agencies and police services in putting into place a
Saskatchewan HUB model. It's a focus on health, because we know
the social determinants of health overlap with the determinants of
crime, and we're seeing an overlap there. We're focusing in on health,
and again our goal is to get upstream and intervene upstream with a
number of people before they come into contact with us, because we
know that if they're coming into contact with us, they're coming into
contact with emergency wards and other social services.
● (0925)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much.
Now we return to the government side.
Mr. Hawn, for seven minutes.
Hon. Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre, CPC): Thank you very
much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to both of our witnesses for being here.
We've heard a lot over the last several months, but I think, as with
a lot of things, it comes down to time. Theoretically you can always
get more money, you can always get more people, but what you can't
ever do, of course, is get more time. If it's difficult to get money and
people, then we'd better make the best use of our time. That goes
back to doing the research, where are we applying our focus and
effort, and so on.
Chief, you talked about challenging stats, because obviously we
could be going down the wrong road if we don't understand the stats
we're faced with, that we're basing our decisions on. Can you give
me an example of some of the statistics that we should be
challenging, or that you're challenging?
June 18, 2013
Chief Matthew Torigian: Right now we're exploring the manner
in which we collect some of the data. As an example, whenever an
incident in a community occurs and there are elements of crime to it,
it gets coded. It's a code. It's called a UCR, uniform crime reporting.
If there is more than one criminal act that took place within that
one incident, we assign corresponding codes, only to a maximum of
four. Yet we have had incidences where 30 crimes have occurred. It's
important to look at changing the manner in which we capture this,
so that we can get a true appreciation of not only the volume but also
the complexity of crime—because volume is only one aspect and not
the only one—and track this over the years. Right now we're seeing
20 crimes that occur within one incident. Many years ago that
wouldn't have taken place.
This all connects, because it informs us of what we're starting to
understand and what we've understood for some time. But research
can bear this out as well. Criminals don't specialize. We do, but they
don't. There may be more than one criminal act within one particular
incident, so we need to be certain that when we're looking at crime
stats, we are in fact capturing the data the right way.
Another way we are challenging ourselves and educating
ourselves as police leaders around this, going back to an earlier
question around what can happen nationally—auditing is something
that perhaps we need a little bit more of at CCJS. Right now, we
currently see a bunch of different approaches to responding to
criminal acts right across Canada.
I'll do this quickly. You could stagger out of a bar in New
Brunswick and get into a fight, then drive to Alberta and graffiti a
building, and then get to British Columbia and smash your car
because you're impaired, and you might not ever generate a criminal
occurrence that gets coded. If you do it in reverse, you would then
get three. We need to ensure that we are consistent in the way we're
capturing data and statistics right across the country. That's part of
the work that I'm part of, that we are all part of, with the Police
Information and Statistics Committee.
Hon. Laurie Hawn: Thank you.
Professor, could you give me a brief answer? You talked a little bit
about importing policies from the U.K., or wherever, and obviously
some are good and some are bad. Can you give me just a quick
example of a good policy that we've imported and an example of a
bad policy that we've imported?
Dr. Christopher Murphy: I think we're experimenting with the
community service officer model. I understand B.C. is recruiting
officers who will be in uniform but not have powers of arrest. They
will be visible, in terms of walking the public streets, etc. I don't
know yet if that's a good model or not, and I think one of the things
that we need to develop is the capacity to assess these when we put
them in place, so that we can say it worked or it didn't work. To me,
that has potential, but I don't actually know whether it's going to be
an effective model in Canada.
If I could, I'll just say something about the last point. I think we
sometimes focus way too much on crime. The issue of public safety
is something that crime stats don't measure very well. I was thinking
about the initiative that we're involved in, in downtown Halifax,
which is about bars, assaults, and disorder in the public downtown.
It's a huge issue. There are very few crime stats generated by this, but
it's a policing problem. There are very few crime-related issues with
anti-terrorism, but it is a new and demanding area for police. Public
order policing.... None of these things actually have any actual
crimes attached to them.
So I think we need to go beyond crime data and say that police
actually have a variety of other areas of demand, which we can also
develop metrics for. But I think sometimes crime is way too narrow a
● (0930)
Hon. Laurie Hawn: I'd question the assessment that terrorism
doesn't include crimes.
Anyway, I'd like to get brief comments from both of you, if I can,
because I don't have too much time left.
We have a lot of police bodies across the country. Professor,
you've been involved with some of them from a more academic
point of view, and Chief, it sounds like you've been involved with
most of them from a practical, hands-on point of view.
Do we have too many? Are we lacking focus? Is there something
we can do between those bodies to bring some of this focus together
for things like a national vision about policing and training and so
Chief, I'll start with you.
Chief Matthew Torigian: I was hoping the professor would
answer first.
Do you want to go, Chris, or do you want me to?
Dr. Christopher Murphy: Sure.
I think we have a variety of groups that represent different
interests in policing, from police boards, police associations, and the
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. I don't know that we're
going to be able to get rid of them, in a sense, but I think they have to
develop partnerships and recognize that they're all in this enterprise
together. I think that's beginning to happen. To some extent, I think
these were not coordinated, and they were often in conflict with one
If Canada is to pull this together and maintain the kind of
reputation we have for policing, we will have to see more working
partnerships between these different interest groups. Maybe the
government can provide some leadership in that.
I'll leave it at that.
Chief Matthew Torigian: I think your question is very poignant
because right now this is what police leaders struggle with: How
many police officers do I need, and do I have too many or too few?
Again, because I'm proud of the work we've done, and not
because I'm trying to suggest we're further ahead than anyone else, in
the last five years we've re-engineered our entire organization and
introduced a queueing model that enables us to determine exactly.... I
can answer that question, and I can tell you exactly how many police
officers I need and what I'm doing with them. But the question that
needs to be answered is, what do you want us to do? It's not enough
to say we have too many or too few, unless we know exactly what
our mission is. That's where, in the core of this economic model,
rests the community, the governance, the oversight, the values, the
principles, and the direction in which we're headed.
To Professor Murphy's earlier point, he is absolutely right that
75% of our patrol response is to non-criminal offences. What we're
doing at the national level right now is toying with the idea that
while we have uniform crime reporting, maybe we need uniform
calls for service reporting as well, so we can really capture exactly
the work that's being done.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much.
You're now out of time.
We'll turn to Mr. Scarpaleggia for seven minutes.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.): I will
continue with that uniform call for service. I'm not quite sure what
that means, as opposed to uniform crime statistics. Can you elaborate
on that before I go to my round of questioning?
Chief Matthew Torigian: Sure.
Where we would go to a social disorder call for service is a
situation in which somebody living with mental illness is walking
down the street in the middle of summer, shirt off, waving their
arms, and scaring people in the downtown area. No crime has been
committed. We're responding to that call. It's a call for service, as
opposed to somebody being assaulted.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Right.
I didn't quite get your point about three incidents happening across
the country, and then you said something about if you were doing it
in reverse it would capture a different conclusion.
Could you elaborate on that as well?
Chief Matthew Torigian: Yes. What we have right now in some
jurisdictions.... Using New Brunswick as an example, there is a
municipality in New Brunswick where they've created a bylaw to
avoid having, perhaps, young people who are in university ending up
with a criminal record because they ended up fighting in public when
they came out of a bar. They created a bylaw to address that.
There is nothing wrong with addressing that through a bylaw, but
it still needs to be captured as a criminal offence.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Oh, it still needs to be captured.
Chief Matthew Torigian: It's a criminal offence.
Or, for example, in British Columbia provincial law enables an
officer to suspend a driver's licence at the side of the road after a
person blows “fail” on a roadside device. Instead of charging them
with a criminal offence of impaired driving, they're handled through
a provincial statute that suspends their licence for 90 days or longer
and impounds their vehicle. It's a provincial statute. It's still a
June 18, 2013
criminal offence, and we need to capture that and code it as a
criminal offence, but it can be dealt with by way of another statute.
● (0935)
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: We're not capturing it as a criminal....
Chief Matthew Torigian: We are missing some of these crimes
because they are not being captured consistently across Canada.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: You mentioned you're hiring police
officers with postgraduate degrees. This must be putting upward
pressure on costs. As you recruit people with more advanced
education, presumably you must pay more, or no?
Chief Matthew Torigian: No. There are set grids that are
established through collective agreements and they are consistent.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: I thought you brought some really
new ideas to the table here that I don't recall hearing, though we
have, of course, heard from the Calgary police force and the Prince
Albert police force.
Contrasting and comparing, are you doing what they are doing?
Are you doing certain things differently? Are you doing some things
that they are not doing? How would you contrast and compare what
you're doing, which seems to be very leading-edge, with what they
are doing, which is leading-edge? Are you all doing the same thing
in a leading-edge way, or are you...? Can you learn from each other
because you're doing different things?
Chief Matthew Torigian: Yes. It's really the cadence of moving
forward and being progressive. What Dale McFee did in Prince
Albert was leading-edge, and it was necessary for Prince Albert,
given what they were dealing with on the ground there.
We build on that, and in the true spirit of community policing—
community-based or community-focused policing—you customize it
to what your needs are at the local level. We develop and initiate or
innovate, and then we share, because that is what we do. The
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and all of the provincial
associations of chiefs of police work very closely together to share
innovative ideas and initiatives, so that we can learn from each other
and then take that back to our home town and ensure it's responsive
to whatever our local needs are.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Do you have some kind of hub and
spoke model as well?
Chief Matthew Torigian: We have it with respect to our family
violence project, and now we are incorporating some of the recidivist
offender profiles that have been developed as a result of some
technology through programming, what we've learned from
Saskatchewan, and at the same time building on what we're seeing
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: In your view, can innovative
approaches to policing reduce recidivism rates?
Chief Matthew Torigian: Absolutely.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Which reduces the demand for police
services and all the way down the line.
June 18, 2013
You're also doing some economic modelling, which I hadn't heard
in our testimony. I don't recall hearing other police forces saying they
are doing some pretty advanced economic modelling. Maybe they
did and I missed it.
Are you sort of out in the lead in that particular aspect?
Chief Matthew Torigian: I think what's happening is that we're
all doing parts of it. One of the initiatives we're undertaking in our
organization is to try to put some framework to it, try to create
almost a visioning model or document, a communication tool.
Again, it speaks to the capacity building that's necessary within our
own police services.
Some day I'm going to leave this position, and I want to ensure
that whoever is coming up can continue and carry that ball forward.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Do you use your economic or costbenefit analyses when you negotiate with the town council, if that's
the way it works when you negotiate your budget with the city? You
bring all this and say, “Look, we've put more money in here, but
murder rates are down and so on.” You use that, of course.
I was reading something very interesting a little while ago about
how cities now, governments in general, are just overflowing with
data, which they can't even really analyze and so on.
In the U.S., and I'll just read a little quote, if I may—
● (0940)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Briefly, Mr. Scarpaleggia.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: It says:
As cities also start to look back at historical data, fascinating discoveries are being
made. Mike Flowers, the chief analytics officer in New York, says that if a
property has a tax lien on it there is a ninefold increase in the chance of a
catastrophic fire there. And businesses that have broken licensing rules are far
more likely to be selling cigarettes smuggled into the city in order to avoid paying
local taxes. Over in Chicago, the city knows with mathematical precision that
when it gets calls complaining about rubbish bins in certain areas, a rat problem
will follow a week later.
Is this sort of the direction you're going in?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Unfortunately, Mr.
Scarpaleggia, you've taken all your time with the question.
I will now give the floor to Mr. Rousseau, for five minutes.
Mr. Jean Rousseau (Compton—Stanstead, NDP): Thank you,
Mr. Chairman.
I thank both of our witnesses for being with us here this morning.
My first question is for Mr. Murphy.
As a professor of anthropology, you must have done an analysis of
our police forces that takes the demographic aspect and the
resistance to change into account. What we are discussing is
improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our front-line resources
without endangering public and national safety.
Given the culture of resistance to change within the police forces,
how should we make changes with a view to moving to a new
model, while being sensitive to this culture and not harming it?
Despite this resistance to change, people want to serve. They are still
very proud of their police force.
How, in your opinion, could we make these changes?
Dr. Christopher Murphy: That's a challenging question.
I think we're at a stage now where all police, whether they're
managers, front-line police officers, or union members, have begun
to realize that their organization is, to some extent, under siege both
financially and in the expansion of demand. I think some police
departments work more collaboratively than others. Others are not,
in a sense, working together towards the same goals. But I think the
involvement of the rank and file and the police associations will be
central to any significant change in the way police work is done.
Without their involvement, without persuading them that it's in their
interests and in the interests of policing in general and the services
they provide, they'll simply diminish in importance and effectiveness, and that change is actually going to sustain policing and make
it healthier. I believe all of those things, but it does take a while.
There is a new openness now to discussing issues about change,
and doing things differently, that didn't exist before. I don't really
have any magic strategy or solution, other than let's open up a
discussion and conversation and inform it with information. I believe
people will make changes.
Perhaps the chief has some thoughts on this.
Mr. Jean Rousseau: Thank you very much.
Mr. Torigian, despite all of that, are intergenerational conflicts and
the assignment of duties not the main obstacles? We need police
officers who have 35 years of experience in the field, to exercise
leadership with younger officers, among other things. The young
recruits have a very different mentality, regarding information
technologies alone.
In that context, how should assignments be distributed, in your
Chief Matthew Torigian: The actual work a police officer is
engaged in over the years hasn't necessarily changed to any great
extent. Some of the tools and what we're doing have changed. The
way I describe it in my own organization is, the raw material for
policing is still the same: it's information. That's the business we're
in. We cannot do anything without information. Then we need to
process it, mine it, and change it, and turn it into something.
The skills required to take information and do something with it,
and some of the tools we use in doing that, have changed over the
years, but the actual task is the same. So it's very important, in some
respects in certain positions within an organization, to still start in
front-line policing and patrol, and generate the necessary skills that
will eventually let you take information in a more sophisticated way
and do something more with it.
June 18, 2013
There is the thought that we can start civilianizing specialized
tasks a little bit differently in policing. For example, in forensic
identification, do you necessarily need to be a front-line police
officer and work your way through for 10 or 15 years before you go
into forensic identification? Again, I think there are many models out
there, some in the United States, some in the U.K., where they're
experimenting with that.
We've been following your work very closely and are pleased at
the engagement of parliamentarians on this important issue and the
wide range of impressive witnesses you have heard from during the
course of your deliberations. We look forward to your report and
believe that it will make a significant contribution to the work under
way on the economics of policing and, most importantly, towards the
future of policing in Canada.
On your point around the multi-generational workforce we have,
and the different people who come in, and how you lead that change
in organization, I think it boils down to leadership. That leadership
exists at many different levels.
Since we last met, there have been a number of developments. I'd
like to take this opportunity to update you on those developments, as
well as talk about the way forward.
My personal leadership style is to lead from the middle, to build
the capacity at the middle of the organization. I can have all the
greatest ideas and directives in the world, but if I don't have a cohort
of people who are engaged and who want to do the same thing, it
gets clogged in the middle.
● (0945)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Unfortunately, Chief
Torigian, I'm going to have to stop you there.
This concludes the time for our first panel. I'd like to thank both of
our witnesses for being with us this morning and for their very
valuable testimony.
We will suspend for three minutes to allow our next panel of
witnesses to take their seats.
Thank you.
● (0945)
First, however, I'd like to provide some brief background. The
Minister of Public Safety has been providing strong leadership on
the economics of policing. He has been engaged with all of his
federal, provincial, and territorial colleagues through recent meetings
of FPT ministers of justice and public safety to collectively advance
this issue.
The work under way on the economics of policing is based on the
following three commitments agreed to by all FPT ministers: first, to
convene a summit on the economics of policing; second, to promote
information sharing on policies and practices that improve the
efficiency and effectiveness of policing; and third, to develop a
shared forward agenda or strategy for policing in Canada.
The development of a shared forward agenda is a unique
opportunity for governments to continue to demonstrate collective
leadership. Such leadership can help contribute to the evolution of
policing in Canada at a time of fiscal constraints and heightened
public expectations.
● (0945)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): We are coming back to
order here for our second panel of witnesses this morning.
From the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, we have Mark Potter, director general of the policing policy
directorate, law enforcement and policing branch; and Rachel
Huggins, the acting director of RCMP policy.
Good morning, and thank you for being here. I know we call on
Public Safety quite often, but it is the public safety committee. We
always appreciate having you here and your contributions.
I'm not sure if you each have a 10-minute opening statement or
how you wish to proceed....
Mr. Mark Potter (Director General, Policing Policy Directorate, Law Enforcement and Policing Branch, Department of
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness): We'll be making one
10-minute opening statement.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Please go ahead.
Mr. Mark Potter: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Good morning to everyone. It's a great pleasure to appear before
this committee again and to speak with you about the economics of
policing. As mentioned, I am joined this morning by my colleague,
Rachel Huggins.
As you know, the summit took place in January 2013. The summit
was hosted by the Minister of Public Safety on behalf of all FPT
justice and public safety ministers. The summit set out to meet three
objectives: first, increase awareness of the economics of policing;
second, provide practical information on how to improve efficiency
and effectiveness; and third, get ahead of the issue so that we can
take well-considered actions and avoid the drastic policing cuts
being faced in some jurisdictions.
The summit was attended by over 250 participants from across
Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and several other countries. Both formal
and informal feedback on the summit was very positive. It achieved
the objectives of awareness, practical information, and getting ahead
of the issue. It also conveyed strong collective government
leadership. A report on the summit is available on the Public Safety
Canada website.
In fact, the summit and other developments, including the work of
this committee, appear to have accelerated interest both in the issue
of the economics of policing and, most fundamentally, the pace of
police reform. The development of a shared forward agenda is
intended to continue that momentum of change.
The closing session of the summit laid out a framework for
advancing the issue of the economics of policing that is oriented
around the three pillars of transformation. These are: one,
efficiencies within police services; two, new models of community
safety; and three, efficiencies within the justice system.
June 18, 2013
These pillars are underpinned by evaluation and validation of best
practices, strengthened research, and of course engagement. The
goal of the strategy is increasingly efficient and effective policing.
For the strategy to be successful, it must respect jurisdictional
responsibilities for policing and it must be inclusive of the entire
policing community and other key stakeholders. The goal, put
simply, is to identify those areas where it makes sense to cooperate
collectively. Engagement and consultation on the shared forward
agenda are intended to flesh out this framework with proposed shortand medium-term actions.
The consultation plan is rolling out over spring and summer 2013.
This process is being driven by all governments, notably through
deputy minister and assistant deputy minister level policing and
public safety committees. A core group composed of Public Safety
Canada and the three champion provinces—Ontario, Saskatchewan,
and British Columbia—will be taking the lead in identifying and
developing specific actions for consideration by ministers.
In order to ensure that we get a broad base of input toward the
shared forward agenda, we have put together a steering committee
comprising this core group of federal and provincial government
officials, along with key representatives of the policing community.
The heads of the three national policing associations, representing
front-line officers, chiefs, and boards, are on this steering committee,
as well as an academic expert in policing, Professor Curt Griffiths of
Simon Fraser University.
In addition to the development of the shared forward agenda, as
directed by ministers, an index of police initiatives is being finalized
as a tool to facilitate information sharing and learning from one
another. The index is truly a collaborative effort by governments and
police services across the country. We believe it is the first of its kind
in Canada. The index brings together over 150 innovative initiatives,
activities, and best practices in one database and will make them
broadly accessible through a user-friendly search engine and on-line
interface. I think many Canadians will be surprised at the many
innovative policing reforms that are already under way in Canada
and from which we can all learn. A number of the witnesses before
this committee have referred to such innovative practices, such as the
use of integrated teams to assist in responding to calls that involve
individuals with mental health challenges, among many others.
Moreover, there is a major long-term research project under way
on the future of Canadian policing. This project is being led by the
Council of Canadian Academies and is assessing how policing is
organized and delivered in Canada. The project is being undertaken
by a number of eminent Canadian and international researchers. This
independent study is expected to be released in late 2014 or early
In addition to strengthening research, another early focus of the
work currently under way is on improving police training. A lot of
money, as you know, is spent on police training, and the focus tends
to be on costly and time-consuming traditional in-class approaches.
Such approaches, as you have heard, are not always well-suited to
the technology-based learning styles familiar to most new police
recruits. Therefore, another short-term action will be to convene a
two-day training summit with the Canadian Police Knowledge
Network in September 2013. The workshop will bring together a
wide range of participants to explore issues and approaches and help
set priorities related to police training going forward.
Building on the index of innovative policing initiatives, Public
Safety Canada will continue to advance information sharing through
its economics of policing website. The website will act as a key
portal to broadly disseminate policing information and research and
to provide updates on activities related to the economics of policing.
To recap, in terms of next steps, we will soon finalize the index.
There will be a training summit in P.E.I. in September, and based on
the ongoing consultations, we will present the shared forward agenda
to ministers in fall 2013 for their consideration.
The outcome of this committee's deliberations will, I understand,
also be released this fall. Such timing would allow all governments
to benefit from and draw upon your findings as we collectively shape
the way forward.
That concludes the presentation. Your questions and comments
would be most welcome.
Thank you very much.
● (0955)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much.
● (0950)
Ms. Bergen.
In addition to such information sharing, policing transformation
and innovation must be founded upon a solid base of evidence and
research if it is to be successful. However, as noted earlier this
morning, currently in Canada there is a limited policing-related
research capacity, no central repository of accessible research
information, and no agreement within the policing community on
research priorities. A key aspect of the shared forward agenda will be
to address such shortcomings.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In order to begin that process, Public Safety Canada has
commissioned certain baseline research projects. Projects under
way are reviewing policing research in Canada, use of performance
measures, international comparisons of policing strategies, and the
costs of police training in Canada.
I'm going to begin, but I think I'm going to share my time with Mr.
Wilks. I think he had some questions.
Thank you very much for being here.
Mr. Potter, I'm sorry, did you say there were three different things
that have come out of the report? One is the index that you referred
to, the second is the training summit, and was there a third?
Mr. Mark Potter: Yes, the third is the development of a shared
forward agenda or strategy for policing.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you.
June 18, 2013
Can you talk a little more about the index? I think that's something
we've heard a lot of recommendations on and something that is a
very concrete thing the federal government can do. Can you talk a
little more about the information, the index, as well as the website
and where you're at with that? Just describe it a little more. Then I'm
going to pass it on to Mr. Wilks.
efficiencies within policing, new models of community safety, and
efficiencies within the justice system.
Thank you.
Mr. Mark Potter: There are a few dimensions to this. There is
what's happening federally, through the Department of Justice, to
look at procedures and the use of technology in the federal courts
system and how they can be made more efficient.
Mr. Mark Potter: The purpose of the index is basically to
recognize that there are a lot of interesting and innovative activities
happening across Canada. Of course, we're looking at the U.K., at
Australia, and at the U.S., but there's a lot going on in Canada, so
why not take the opportunity to learn from what we're doing right
here and what works?
A number of provinces and police services have been pulling
together information on things that have been happening at the local
level over the past seven to eight months to improve policing to
better serve their communities. They've compiled these into 150
different examples, and a number of these have actually been
validated by researchers as best practices. That information is also
related to these initiatives.
So if police services are thinking they want to improve in a certain
area, this allows them to go into this database, enter search criteria,
and find out what's happening in other parts of the country in those
areas that they can learn from. There'll be contact and detailed
information on the project or the initiative, so they can get more
information, dig more deeply, and essentially learn from what's
going on right across Canada.
● (1000)
Ms. Candice Bergen: Is it up and running already?
Mr. Mark Potter: The data has all been pulled together. Right
now, we're at the stage of working with our IT folks to make it as
user-friendly as possible. We're hopeful. We'll be going through our
internal departmental processes to get approval to release this, but
we're hopeful that towards the end of the summer it will be ready to
be released. We want to put a product out there that's as user-friendly
as possible. That's the goal.
Ms. Candice Bergen: It would be through the Public Safety
website? Or would it be absolutely its own website, as I know they
have in the States?
Mr. Mark Potter: With our IT people, we're still working through
exactly how that will line up. We're hoping that the economics of
policing website would be the key portal for that. As to whether it
has the capacity to handle that, we're still sorting that out, but there
will definitely be links through that website to this index.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Mr. Wilks, you have
about five minutes.
Mr. David Wilks (Kootenay—Columbia, CPC): Thank you
very much, Mr. Chair.
Thanks to the panel for their presentations today.
You mentioned in your speech that with regard to the closing
session, the summit laid out a framework, as you said, with regard to
That's one thing I want to target today. I wonder if you could
explain a bit about the efficiencies in the justice system. I certainly
have mine. I would like to hear yours.
There are provincial initiatives. In fact, B.C. has been I think at the
forefront in this. They've undertaken a couple of reviews. They now
have a white paper. They're implementing change. To the extent that
I understand it, they're bringing common management to the justice
system to break down some of the silos and allow for efficiencies to
be realized.
There are things happening on the ground at both the national and
the provincial levels. There's also the issue.... I know you've heard
about this from the Canadian Police Association, among others,
which says quite rightly that the nature of the justice system has
imposed certain costs. It has imposed certain requirements on
policing, and that has a direct impact on the cost and the time
associated with processing crimes, processing offenders, and so on.
Another dimension of this is to recognize that things are
happening federally and provincially, but also to ensure that those
police voices, from front-line officers or from chiefs, are heard and
are factored into those ongoing federal and provincial reforms, so
that they do not lose sight of ensuring that what they're reforming,
what they're changing, also responds to the views, needs, and
perspectives of the policing community itself. We're pulling together
through this steering committee—and B.C. is actually leading this
component—what are those views of the policing community on
areas that could be improved.
Mr. David Wilks: Certainly in my years of policing, I felt that
efficiency versus effectiveness was paramount. The police need to
get the job done as quickly as they can, they need to do it as
efficiently as they can, and they can't have roadblocks put in front of
them. Personally, I think we've researched a lot of things to death.
We come up with the same answers, but we don't come up with the
efficiency model.
I'll give you a good example. In 1973, the RCMP came up with a
community policing program. In 1999, they came up with a
reinvented community policing program. If you were to put the two
together, they would be exactly the same. So we research and we
research, but we don't do anything with it.
I do like your idea with regard to one database system. A good
example is that a lot of police departments in Canada are on PROS,
while some are on PRIME. Why do we have two? Why don't we just
have one?
Could you talk to that a bit, with regard to having one data
system? With respect to the perspective of the police, they need to be
consistent. They can't have one piece of data here and one piece of
data there and think it's going to work, because it doesn't.
June 18, 2013
Mr. Mark Potter: I think the challenge is that the policing
community and other public services face a way of focusing the
mind right now, focusing on how you deliver your operations more
effectively. IT is a very good example of that.
But on this side, and I've said it a number of times, we know there
are investments that need to be made to make first nations policing
effective, to make it efficient, and to bring it in line with adjacent
police services.
We saw an example in the U.K.—I think this was mentioned
earlier—where there had been these 43 police services. All of them
had their own IT systems that didn't always match up. When faced
with 20% cuts, they realized that while they didn't necessarily want
to have a national IT system—although that may be the direction
they ultimately head towards—they certainly said they would look at
neighbouring counties and align their IT systems with them, because
they're often involved in joint operations with them. They felt they
could realize cost savings by having one administrator of their IT
system, which would be a shared service between those two
I'm aware that now some first nations police chiefs are attacking
the main costs they have, which are salaries and benefits, and
reducing those in a number of instances. Treaty Three is a good
example of where that's happening. Of course, that's a self-defeating
thing, because you have to keep up with adjacent municipalities and
adjacent police services; otherwise you get all your people poached.
They get many of their officers poached already, and that's a serious
I think we're going to see more of that in Canada as we go
forward, where there's a recognition of potential cost savings
associated with cooperating on certain administrative areas like IT.
● (1005)
Mr. Mark Potter: I think it's important, as I mentioned, to respect
jurisdictional responsibilities, so in the development of the strategy
we're ultimately trying to strike a balance between recognizing that
provinces are responsible for the administration of justice. That is
often delegated to particular communities. Most fundamentally, it's
the communities themselves, the clients, the people who pay for the
services, who should be setting the priorities and setting the
directions for their police services. No two communities are exactly
alike. So whether it's a first nations community or any other
community across Canada, they have unique needs and unique
challenges. It is their role to define those priorities and establish the
sorts of police services that they believe will best serve their
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much,
Mr. Potter.
We'll now go to the opposition for seven minutes. Mr. Rafferty.
Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP): Thank
you very much, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Potter, it's nice to see you again, and Ms. Huggins, it's nice to
see you also.
My first question is for Mr. Potter.
One of the things that was missing in your preamble that is not
often talked about, although I try to talk about it as much as I can
here, is first nations policing, which is a joint federal-provincial
responsibility. It's almost half and half.
As you are probably aware, on this committee we're sort of at
loggerheads, the government side and the opposition side. The
government side can correct me if I'm wrong, but generally
speaking, the government side is concerned about the cost per
capita of first nations policing and it being considerably more than
the regular per capita cost of policing. We've heard it a number of
times today; we've heard Ms. Bergen talk about that.
As you're aware, of course, there are many variables. I don't think
there are non-native police services in Canada that have to deal with
communities with an 80% addiction rate, for example—those kinds
of variables—or flying in, or whatever the case may be.
So we're sort of at loggerheads. That's the government's side.
I see them shaking their heads, so I must be right in what your
main concern is.
Voices: Oh, oh!
A voice: They're more than shaking their heads.
Mr. John Rafferty: Oh, they're shaking their heads the wrong
way. Well, we'll straighten that out in a minute.
I wonder if you could give us your thoughts on both of those
positions, and let us know where the government sits on this.
Having said that, I think the goal of the strategy is to say, “Yes,
let's recognize that that's an absolutely core element of the way
forward”. But at the same time, you also want to strive to find areas
where it makes sense to cooperate, where it makes sense to share
services, look at new models of community safety, try different
innovations, and improve the efficiency of your operations through
applying certain tools, different performance metrics to assess how
you're doing. So there are areas where it makes sense to cooperate
collectively and there areas where you're going to be acting
independently in response to the needs and priorities of your
Mr. John Rafferty: There's a reason, Mr. Potter, that in northern
Ontario the OPP were happy to get rid of first nations policing in the
far north: they just couldn't keep up with the costs.
While I know we're studying the economics of policing, I think we
need to also look on the other side and recognize that we have to
bring all police services under federal responsibility—that is first
nations policing—to the same level as everybody else. Everybody
deserves to get the same public safety that everybody else gets in this
I wonder if the government has done any scientific studies, any
proper studies, on first nations, specifically in first nations police
service areas—work analytics, workload analytics, that sort of thing
—just to see exactly what some of the issues concerning police
services are. Or is that something that might happen in the near
● (1010)
Mr. Mark Potter: My colleague, Shawn Tupper, who has
previously appeared before this committee, is the ADM responsible
for the first nations policing program at Public Safety. He'd be best
placed to speak to that.
I'm actually appearing this afternoon in Maniwaki at a meeting of
the first nations policing panel to talk about this exact topic, the
economics of policing. That meeting and those series of meetings
with first nations communities is an opportunity to not only allow
them to help shape the evolution of the first nations policing program
in Canada, but to participate very directly, as they did in the summit
and as they do through the national associations, in the evolution of
the shared framework of the strategy for policing in Canada.
We're looking at finding ways to engage with all participants in
the policing community in shaping the way forward. Their often
unique needs and unique challenges.... You've certainly heard in this
committee, from the RCMP and others, about the challenges and the
costs of providing services in the north to first nations communities.
They're much higher than elsewhere in Canada. There are a lot of
very valid reasons why that's the case. That's why you have the
FNPP, to provide that additional funding and support to those
communities to ensure that they have a level of policing that's
generally comparable to what exists in other parts of the country.
That objective is not always achieved. Shawn Tupper would be in
a better position to speak to this, but there is a process under way to
look at the FNPP to ensure that it is indeed meeting the needs of first
nations communities, and to look at how it might need to evolve to
better meet those needs. That's the one track. Then there's the whole
economics of policing track, and where we go with this strategy.
There will clearly be first nations elements of that, and how we better
service those communities.
Mr. John Rafferty: I wonder if Mr. Potter—
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Sorry, you're out of
I'll turn to the government side again.
Ms. Ambler.
Mrs. Stella Ambler (Mississauga South, CPC): Thank you, Mr.
Chair, and thank you very much, Mr. Potter and Ms. Huggins, for
being here today.
I noted with interest the index. I was wondering if that is anything
like the United States website, Is it similar, or
will ours be more comprehensive, or less, or completely different?
I'm just curious.
Mr. Mark Potter: It's similar. Imagine a precursor of, which has been evolving over a number of years. It has an
administration around it. It has a number of academics who feed into
it, who review the operational experiences that are put on Part of the advantage of is
that if you take, for example, a broken window strategy in Boston, it
will be implemented, it will be assessed by one or multiple
academics over time, and they will put their findings on that website.
It's continually evolving, continually refining the analysis around the
various initiatives that are under way. If you, as a community, are
looking at moving in that direction, you'll know how the program
June 18, 2013
started, you'll know how it's been evaluated, and you'll know
probably how it's evolved over time, so that you can implement what
is truly the best practice in that particular area going forward.
I would see our index as an early version of
You have to walk before you run, and this is the first step in that
Mrs. Stella Ambler: I'm glad to hear that. I suspect that with already existing, ours will probably be able to
develop faster than theirs, because we'll be able to use what they've
already accomplished and move forward more quickly.
I also want to talk about training. You mentioned that sometimes
the traditional methods of training are not only costly but are simply
not the best way to train a police officer—sitting in a classroom with
a lecturer at the front.
Can you tell us a bit more about the summit that's happening this
September in P.E.I.?
● (1015)
Mr. Mark Potter: We're calling it a training summit, but it will
essentially build on work of the Canadian Police Knowledge
Network. I know you've heard from Mr. Sandy Sweet about that
organization and the good work they do across Canada to support
police services with online training.
They've been holding an annual event in Stanhope, P.E.I., over
quite a long period of time. We're going to work with them to take
that event and make it broader. It's not just about online learning,
although that will be a key element of it. It's about training generally.
How do we train? Are those approaches working? What have we
learned about new training models and about the styles of learning of
new recruits? How do we move forward, and what's the balance we
want to find?
Clearly, you do need some of the traditional in-class type of
training, but there are other parts of that training or other types of
training where an online approach is often much more effective.
Mrs. Stella Ambler: And it can reach many more people.
Mr. Mark Potter: Exactly.
Mrs. Stella Ambler: In the discussions at the summit, did anyone
present a reasonable estimate of how much money could potentially
be saved through this increased use of technology?
We've heard estimates as high as $1 billion. After considering
some of the indirect costs, do you think that's a fair estimate?
Mr. Mark Potter: That's certainly the number that I'm familiar
with, that around $1 billion of the $12 billion we spend on policing
is for training.
June 18, 2013
Policing, as you know, is a pretty training-intensive type of
occupation, so you're going to continue to spend a lot of money on
policing. But as I think you mentioned, it's some of the indirect costs,
your travel and your accommodation in terms of bringing people
together in traditional in-class approaches, whether it's at Depot or at
the Pacific regional training centre for the RCMP, and similarly for
Ontario and Quebec, that are often the biggest costs associated with
policing. It's indirect, in terms of their travel and their accommodation, but also their time away from work, the backfilling of positions.
There are a whole bunch of follow-on effects.
To answer your question very directly, I don't know the answer. Of
that $1 billion, are we going to be saving an amount of...? It's hard to
say. It's much too early in the process now, but that's clearly one of
the objectives of the summit.
Mrs. Stella Ambler: Wonderful.
In a situation like training, which is costly but absolutely essential,
how do we as a government measure success? How do we take the
value of that and decide whether it's actually working or not?
Mr. Mark Potter: These are excellent questions.
I know you've heard from Mr. Gruson from the Police Sector
Council. They've done some very good work with academies,
looking at the training they provide to recruits and whether there can
be greater coordination and commonality in the type of training
provided to recruits and linking this to competency profiles and
standards related to occupations. The sense is that there's a great deal
of scope for improvement in that regard.
In terms of training, just looking at the perishability of skills, for
example, do you need, every year, to be recertified on first aid and
other skills? Frankly, there's not enough research to tell you how
rapidly those skills diminish. We just don't have the research
foundation to say, okay, of the 25 courses you would normally need
to take in a year, these ten are the highest priorities, because your
skills in those areas tend to diminish the most rapidly for a variety of
We just don't have the research foundation around training.
Coming out of the summit, we're hopeful that there will be some
sense of what is the research plan, what is the research that we need
to do, to build a better approach to training in Canada.
Mrs. Stella Ambler: Thank you.
You mentioned that you've been following this study carefully. I'm
wondering if there are one or two things that stand out in your mind
that you've heard and that you think would help most that we should
absolutely implement as quickly as possible.
Mr. Mark Potter: Well, you've heard a lot of things certainly this
morning on the research, and that being the foundation for evidencebased approaches to reform police services. I think when we look at
the three pillars that the FPT community is building around, at what
is happening within police services in terms of performance
measurements, these are the foundational elements to any sort of
transformation. Do you have the right measurement tools? What are
you measuring? Are they the right things to measure? How do you, if
you wish to do so, reform your police services? What services are
out there?
KPMG in the U.K. was mentioned, for example. Companies like
that provide certain assistance and support to police, who often don't
have the skills or background to look at organizational efficiency,
and make operational changes that will allow them to be more
efficient, better serve the communities, and then reinvest those
moneys into new models of community safety—more proactive
policing. There are some activities happening in Saskatchewan,
Waterloo, right across the country, to better serve Canadians and get
to the roots of crime.
I think that's the kind of transformation we're looking at.
● (1020)
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Mr. Scarpaleggia, you
have seven minutes.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Just to recap, you're producing your
report in the fall, did you say? You're producing a report out of this
summit. Is that what I understood you to say?
Mr. Mark Potter: The summit report was released very recently.
It's on our website.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Okay.
What is the next step for your department? You've done what you
had to do on this. Or are you putting out more...?
Mr. Mark Potter: Absolutely. Right now we're in the midst of
finalizing the index of policing initiatives. That will hopefully be
later this summer. We're going to be organizing the training summit
with the CPKN, and, most fundamentally, we're working with the
steering committee on developing a strategy for policing in Canada
that will go to all FPT ministers in the fall.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: So that strategy will be released in the
fall. Will it be released after our report is released? In other words,
will you be taking account of what we've learned? No doubt you
have been following the study through the testimony and so on. Will
some of the ideas that have come up in this committee be factored
into your strategy?
Mr. Mark Potter: To be frank, I think there has actually been
great alignment between the schedule and the deliberations of this
committee, the work on the summit, and the sorts of speakers there
as well as here. I understand your report is likely to appear in early
fall, which would feed in very well.
We don't know when FPT ministers are meeting. It hasn't been
scheduled yet, but it's usually around the end of October, and I can't
get ahead of ministers in presuming what they'll ultimately approve.
We will certainly continue to draw upon your transcripts and
discussions, and certainly your report, and feed that into the process
in developing the strategy.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Right.
In terms of economic modelling, are you going to delve into this
in some detail in your strategy, other than to say we need to do
economic modelling? Are you going to be looking at models of
economic modelling, if you will? Are you going to be making more
detailed suggestions than simply saying each police force should do
more analysis of its costs, benefits, and so on? Is this something the
federal government—Public Safety Canada—will try to explore in
more depth?
Mr. Mark Potter: Once again, I can't get too far ahead, certainly,
of my own minister and collectively all FPT ministers in talking
about the way forward. When you look at the Public Safety Act and
the Minister of Public Safety's role to provide leadership for public
safety, including policing in Canada, I think he's been doing that
very much through the summit and other actions.
What is the federal role? Well, there's a leadership and a
coordination role. Certainly there are accountabilities for the RCMP,
and the minister has taken actions in that regard. Beyond that, there's
the constitutional administration of justice residing with provinces.
So we're being very respectful and working with the provinces.
Through the steering committee developing the strategy, we have
three champion provinces, who, in those three pillars, are actually
taking the lead in identifying actions that will be brought to ministers
for their consideration. So it's very much a collective undertaking of
the governments.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Ms. Huggins, is the RCMP involved
in this kind of economic modelling, this kind of analysis that Chief
Torigian and others have mentioned, this kind of “embedded in the
force” capacity for analyzing and getting a handle on what works, on
what doesn't, on what is cost-effective, and what brings quantifiable
benefits, and so on?
Is this something the RCMP does, or is the RCMP sort of at the
same stage as many police forces, where this is something it's going
to have to look at and build up within its organization? Is there a lot
of quantitative analysis done on the cost-benefit ratios of certain
policing practices, and so on?
● (1025)
Mrs. Rachel Huggins (Acting Director, RCMP Policy,
Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness): I
think the RCMP, like many of the police services across the country,
are working very hard and diligently to look for cost benefits. Doing
the right kind of analysis, they are involved in many of the
committees that Chief Torigian talked about, such as POLIS. They're
there at the forefront looking for better ways to analyze and to
determine the best type of policing to do in Canada.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Can we say that the RCMP then is
assuming a rightful leadership role in this area of economic
modelling and analysis of policing? Is the RCMP leading the pack,
or is part of those leading the pack, on this? Is the RCMP involved?
Mrs. Rachel Huggins: I think they are leading the pack. I think
they're very much involved. They're part of our steering committee
on the shared forward agenda. They have the capacity to do that
research, and they are out there doing it.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: Mr. Potter, I don't know if you were
here when I read something from the May issue of The Economist
magazine about the volume of data that governments produce but
June 18, 2013
typically don't analyze. They don't have the capacity to analyze it,
but others are taking this data and using it.
Is this something that was discussed at the summit, this idea
that...? It was brought up a bit, when we were in the U.K., by Lord
Wasserman. He said you have to predict crime, where it's going to
occur, in order to prevent it, and thereby diminish the demand for
police services.
We've talked a lot about the cost of police services, but only
recently have we started to discuss the notion of.... If you want to get
the costs down, get the demand down. And that's very important. A
lot of police forces are working on that.
But there's all this data out there that can.... As I was referencing
before, if you know there are properties with liens on them, you can
almost predict that fires will occur there at some point. If you have—
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Unfortunately, Mr.
Scarpaleggia, you've run out your time once again.
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia: That's fine. Thanks very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): We will now come
back to Ms. Michaud, who has five minutes.
Ms. Élaine Michaud: I thank our witnesses very much for their
I would like to talk about what you want to study in terms of
training, that is to say new approaches. You want primarily to study
the way in which training is offered, in other words, how much time
is spent in class compared to using technology, for example? You
also want to look at the content of the training and what police
officers are taught to see if the community-based approach should be
used more, or that sort of thing?
Mr. Mark Potter: It would be both.
The goal is to look at the various approaches, whether it's
technology-based or traditional in-class.
The more fundamental question you're asking is, what should
police be learning? What are their true training needs?
I'll refer again to the work of the Police Sector Council and its
development of competency profiles. It doesn't sound that exciting,
but it's actually quite significant in terms of realizing efficiencies in
the way you manage your human resources, which is 80% to 90% of
the cost of policing.
If you have an agreed standard or competency profile for a certain
level, a front-line officer, let's say, you would have certain
requirements associated with that standard and certain training to
meet those requirements. You could then better orient your training
around that.
June 18, 2013
Right now in Canada there's a great diversity around the skills and
the expectations of particular police officers. All police services are
working through the Police Sector Council, and have been for some
time, to bring greater alignment and take a more rigorous look at the
actual skill sets needed to deliver certain services and be an effective
police service. This is clearly evolving over time, so it's not going to
be a static standard. But it is all about professionalization, more
effective management of your human resources, and modernizing
the way you manage human resources as an organization.
● (1030)
Ms. Élaine Michaud: I presume that the findings or conclusions
you will be able to draw during the two-day training, which will take
place in September with the Canadian Police Knowledge Network,
will allow you to fuel the joint program you intend to present to the
minister in the fall?
Mr. Mark Potter: There are considerable expectations that have
been raised around this issue, and that's great. It has created a certain
momentum. But realistically speaking, most change, if it is to be
sustainable, tends to be incremental.
I wouldn't want to create the expectation that there's going to be a
training summit in September and it will solve all of the training
Ms. Élaine Michaud: In fact, how do you intend to use your
evaluations of the training summit to feed into or develop a national
program that you want to present during the course of the fall?
If I understand correctly, the training should be geared towards
shared national objectives that could be established. You would hold
the training summit before publishing the national program. Could
you tell me how the two might be interrelated?
Mr. Mark Potter: I'm afraid it's not a simple answer. The nature
of change in this sector, as with many others, is happening at
multiple levels. There are things where, whether it's the federal
government, the provincial governments, or even the local
government...they can be directive. They can encourage change in
certain directions, let's say in training. That's one dimension of this.
But I think a bigger dimension is the awareness, the informationsharing side, which tends to be more diffuse, a little bit messier in
terms of how it actually leads to change. By police services
participating in this summit on training, they will hear things, they
will learn things, they will take things back to their own police
services, which they will begin to look at, apply, and gather more
research on. I think when I talk about the nature of change being're going to have change happening in a variety of
I don't think we should necessarily assume the strategy and central
direction are what's really going to truly drive this. I think that's a
part of it, and there will be areas where we can collectively
cooperate, and it makes sense to build that into a strategy, but there
are a lot of things going to be happening incrementally, in a diffuse
way, simply by being aware and learning from others about what
works and what doesn't.
It's the ongoing research, the validation of best practices, and
communities defining their own needs, their own priorities, and in
that context drawing upon these lessons, drawing upon these
experiences, to reform and strengthen their own police services in a
way that works for them.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much,
Mr. Potter.
We have time for a final question and answer from the
government side.
Ms. Bergen.
Ms. Candice Bergen: Thank you very much. I appreciate the
I just want to clarify. The number that jumped out at me
concerning first nations policing was in regard to Chief Doug
Palson, who is the chief of the Dakota Ojibway Police Service,
which is located in my riding of Portage—Lisgar. I know this area
extremely well. He told us they were policing five communities,
about 8,000 people, with a $5 million budget—about $650 per
person, per year.
That compared to a small town, again in my riding, Morden,
Manitoba—a small city of about 8,000 people. Their cost was under
$200 per person, per year. Those numbers jumped out at me. I
recognize there's a huge difference. I know these aboriginal
communities as well, so I know none of them are fly-in. Certainly,
there are more social problems in some of them.
I'm really comparing apples to apples. I think it's incumbent on us
as politicians and leaders to not just say we need to send more
money into this situation, but to look at why the costs are so high for
first nations policing.
The testimony we heard has been frankly rather dismal. When
we've heard success stories, it has not been in first nations policing
or with the chiefs of police in those organizations.
I'm wondering, Mr. Potter, have we at Public Safety a breakdown
of the cost of policing in different jurisdictions? For example, what
would it cost, per person, in a major city like Toronto or a small
community like Selkirk, Manitoba, or in a first nations community,
or a number of them? Do we have a breakdown as far as costs per
capita in different jurisdictions are concerned?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): There's time for a very
brief answer, Mr. Potter.
Mr. Mark Potter: We draw on StatsCan data. The average for
Canada is about $370 per person, the average in the provinces is
about $300, and the average in the territories is about $1,000 per
That is broken down in a more disaggregated fashion through
StatsCan data. You can actually get to the level of individual
communities in many cases.
● (1035)
Ms. Candice Bergen: But you have that already, so if we wanted
it, could you provide it to us?
Mr. Mark Potter: We could provide the StatsCan information to
you. It's not something we develop ourselves.
Ms. Candice Bergen: But you just take that and gather it.
Okay. Thank you very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Randall Garrison): Thank you very much,
Ms. Bergen.
June 18, 2013
Thank you very much to the two witnesses for being with us
today. That concludes this session.
We will take a few seconds to reorganize ourselves to look at
committee business in camera.
[Proceedings continue in camera]
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briefs to a Committee of the House of Commons, authorization for reproduction may be required from the authors in
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La reproduction conforme à la présente permission ne
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Le privilège absolu qui s’applique aux délibérations de la
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Nothing in this permission abrogates or derogates from the
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